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Will GCA return?

I had GCA PMR for 3 years. Was on a monthly infusion of Actemra, I've been drug free for 8 months now & doing fine. My Husband of 59 years passed away 1 week ago & I've been a total depressed crying lump since. Do You think this could cause everything to return? I did get a 5.0 aorta ascending aneurysm, it's very close to My heart & scares Me every moment. I didn't know that was a side effect of GCA.. Just wondering what You guys think. Thank You All...

5 Replies

Beringer, so sorry to hear about your husband's passing. I was widowed twelve years ago and understand the depression that can go along with the loss. I remarried seven years ago and am at a happy place but it was difficult for several years.

My advice would be to grieve as long as it takes. Bottling up your pain and fear will only create more stress. Stress is what you don't want. I'm only guessing but I would doubt your GCA would return. I understand, you've been through a lot. But, sounds like you still have some living to do.....hopefully without GCA.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, CJ



So sorry for your loss. I lost my hubby about three years ago, and although it was expected it's still very difficult to come to terms with.

Cry as much as you need to, I know the slightest thing, not necessarily connected to my husband set me off, and when my hulking great son of 40 and I were together, well you almost needed a second ark!

Hopefully this shouldn't mean a return of GCA, no reason why it should. I was quite a long way along my journey with it, and it certainly didn't worsen during this time.

There will be many difficult days ahead for you, no point in not acknowledging that, but if you take each day as it comes you will get through. It's a cliche, but true!

Somewhere I read there are five processes to go through after bereavement anger, denial, depression, bargaining and acceptance. We all have to go through all of them, not necessarily in the same order, and some take longer than others, but once you've got through them all, you can move on.

Thinking of you, and take care.


My heart goes out to you for your loss of your dear husband of practically a lifetime. No wonder you are fearful for your own health. Your world has slipped off its access and nothing is sure and safe anymore. The last thing you feel like doing is eating, sleeping washing, all the mundane ways we stay alive. And yet that is exactly what you have to do right now, like a robot almost. And express your great grief in anyway you wish but express it. I hope you have wise family and friends around you. You've got to become a whole new person, half of you is missing right now and the journey you've embarked on is painful and hard. You won't believe it for a long time yet, but this will pass and you will find joy again. I speak from personal experience. I think the fear you're feeling now is bigger than the aneurysm, you've just put it there. Good for you being drug free for eight months. Bless you.


I'm so sorry - there is nothing I can say to help other than to echo what the others have said. Of course you are a depressed crying lump - that is perfectly normal and understandable. Especially after such a long time together. Time will help - it won't take the pain of bereavement away, that will never go fully, but it will fade to a dull ache instead of a sharp stabbing awfulness. In the meantime try to hold on to the lovely things you have had together with your husband and don't be afraid to talk about him to others. Don't allow anyone to try to tell you you shouldn't and if there isn't anywhere else - there is here.

There is no reason why it should cause the GCA to return - but there is no 100% certainty anywhere. If you have an aortic aneurysm then I assume it is being monitored? Are you still under the rheumatologist? Who do you see for the aneurysm? I assume you have already spoken to your GP but perhaps contacting the rheumy and whoever looks after you besides to discuss it all with them would help you understand that side of things.


Berlinger, I am so sorry for your loss. My husband and I have been married over 50 years and I can't imagine life without him. I pray God comforts you and gives you courage and strength.

I am very concerned about your Aortic aneurysm. It is a subject of which I am quite familiar. I have had my mitral valve replaced due to rheumatic heart disease but I know many others who have had their aortic valve and aortic aneurysm replaced/repaired and I know 5.0 cm should be taken very seriously. I hope you are being closely followed by a cardiac surgeon and not just a cardiologist. If a condition can only be fixed by a surgeon then he/she should be the one being seen. I know you are grieving but please don't let this go. Too often there are no symptoms until it ruptures and survivability is unfortunately low.

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